Last winter I took one of the best classes at BYU. I was very wary going into in- it was called "Adult Development and Aging in the Family." It sounded boring and very.. stiff for lack of a better word. The class was anything but those things but talked about making the most of life and embracing the years as the come. Yes, we talked about physical decline and what changes you see in each system- but that wasn't the focus. Our teacher wanted us to go into the world with a new view towards the elderly.
Last sunday I was able to go sing at Jamestown Retirement home. A group goes on Sundays and just sings hymns. its perfect. for part of it the boys sing so the girls can go talk to the residents sitting and listening and then we switch. I met a wonderful woman named Gladys. She was a character. The first date with her husband was a blind date and she had, with make-up, blacked out her teeth and ratted her hair. She said she opened the door and was just sick. They were engaged 13 days later. I instantly fell in love with her. I wanted to know her whole life story. I wanted to know what she had experienced with a husband in the military. I wanted to hear her adventures, and hear what wisdom she had.
Today Nikki and I were able to go and visit. (Nikki had fallen in love with a woman named Garnet and was going to play the piano for her). Unfortunately Gladys was busy talking with her old visiting teacher. She is a popular girl. We were able to stop in and talk to her for just a moment. A picture of her when she was 22 was hung on the wall. She was beautiful. While the picture depicted a women who looked flawless, the Gladys I saw sitting on the couch was just as beautiful, if not more. Her wrinkles showed the life and experience she had had. She had raised a family. She had laughed. She had lived. and that was more beautiful than the picture on the wall.
I think in the world we live in we often forget the respect that other cultures give the elderly. They have so much wisdom- and we leave that untapped. There is wisdom that comes just from experiencing life.
Other Random Tidbits.
*I got a job managing the duplex I will live at today. That means that my rent is severely discounted as my compensation. It is such a blessing. I feel like everything in my life is falling into place. Dear bottom, dont fall out. please. thanks, Ellie.
*I went with a group in the ward and played Ultimate Frisbee tonight. it was so fun, and the boys actually passed to the girls. good work boys.
*After Frisbee we played ticket to ride at the Langley downstairs. It was fun, minus the cheating that ensued. I come from a family that takes board games very seriously. We have fun, but the best strategy is always figured out. And cheating is unheard of. I sat there frustrated that we weren't playing the way we were supposed to, and then realized I was being dumb. The point was to have fun and to spend time together- not to win the game.